Tenders from bidders that effectively translate identified needs into commercial models of delivery.
Ineffective pre-market engagement can mean suppliers are not geared up to provide the solutions required.
Suppliers hold that the earlier a market maker can signal to the market what his or her goals are, the more likely it is to get the market response needed. Dialogue is the essential tool to getting the bids that are focused on basic, lower-costs. Market managers should be cognisant that short-term shifts can change a market. For instance, switching to shorter contracts on new terms may address short term needs but could make future contracts commercially unattractive to a number of providers, leading them to leave the market, reducing the diversity of the market.
A market position statement is a tool that is being used by some councils to give supplier markets clarity on what it is they are being asked to provide. By providing a picture of current and projected future demand, contract requirements can be more clearly linked to the larger vision for the area and make it easier for suppliers to address these priorities in their business models and service provisions. At the moment not all councils are making full use of market position statements.
A recent example of good engagement with the market was the Probation Reform approach.
The approach on apprenticeships as part of the Work Programme is a good example of commissioning across geographies over a very short timescale. This apporach delivered efficencies and was praised by both the government and suppliers.